The Tigers got their Central Division road trip off to a great start with a 10-6 win in last night’s opener. The Tigers pounded out 15 hits, including multiple hit games by Rajai Davis, Torii Hunter, Nick Castellanos, and Miguel Cabrera.
Detroit will try to keep the bats hot against Minnesota starter Phil Hughes (1-1, 6.43), who has had his problems with the aforementioned Miguel Cabrera, to put it mildly. Cabrera is a career 14-for-25 (yes, that’s .560) with 5 home runs against Hughes. I’m going with Miggy as my Player of the Pregame pick, and maybe we can put to rest the conversation about his slump.
The Tigers hand the ball to Anibal, who is still looking for his first W of 2014.
Alex Avila is day-to-day after bruising his shin sliding into an out at home in the 2nd inning last night, and will be replaced in the lineup by Bryan Holaday. Holaday had a couple of bad throws last time out, one of which he was interfered with on. That was the last time since 2006 that a game ended on a strikeout/interference double play (and by the way, interference calls are not challengeable).
What Holaday did do well, according to Max Scherzer, was calling a good game. Max raved about Holaday’s “great plate-sequencing.”
“He’s a young catcher who does his homework,” Scherzer said. “He’s really prepared. I really can trust him.
Today’s Plate-Sequencing Lineup:
In the first inning Miguel Cabrera continued his dominance of Phil Hughes by doubling in Torii Hunter. When he hustled to take third and was sacrificed in by Victor Martinez, this game had the look of one of those good ones. It was not to be. Hughes mowed through the Tiger lineup for the next 5 innings: in inning 2-6 he gave up one hit and no walks, with 5 strikeouts. When the hapless Jose Ortega couldn’t find the strike zone, the game became another chapter in the blowpen saga, but the reality is that the bats couldn’t get going either. There were last hurrah attempts in the 8th and 9th, but the Twins held on.
Anibal Sanchez’ 3rd inning injury, originally called a blister, is now being called a laceration, and has landed him on the 15-day DL. Justin Miller boomerangs back from Toledo to replace him on the roster. I am assuming that this also means that Drew “Back in the Starting Rotation” Smyly will take Sanchez’ next start.